When this question Could skipping the 18-55mm kit lens with Rebel T3i be a foolish move, to replace it with a 50mm f/1.8? was merged into this one Should I buy a camera with kit lens, or body plus lens separately? The answers from the later, more specific, question were migrated. But there is now no way to view the more specific Question and those more specific Answers that were written to address it in the same place. The more specific answers written for the more specific question are no longer visible at the location of the more specific question they addressed. Only the answers, but not the question, are visible at the question those answers have been migrated to. And there is absolutely no indication that the migrated answers were written to address a different, more specific form of the question. How does this make sense?
In my opinion the older, less specific, original question is so general as to be useless. The correct answer is dependent upon way too many variables (Experience level of the buyer. What, if any, existing equipment the buyer owns. What kind of photography the buyer intends to do. What specific lenses are available at what price point for a given lens mount. Etc.). While the desire to sometimes make questions as applicable to as many situations as possible is admirable, there are times when the correct answer to a question will change significantly with a change in any one (or more) of the variables. Isn't that what "...If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question..." means?
For example, the other day a question was asked by a person who owns an older Canon camera and a single 18-200 lens: What would be the best upgrade strategy for improving low light performance on a very limited budget? Had the old camera been a Nikon, Sony, or Pentax the best upgrade path would probably be a new APS-C body. But since Canon hasn't improved the low light performance of their APS-C sensors to any real degree for several years, in that specific case the best answer was probably a faster lens or a used FF body.
I understand the desire for questions to be "timeless", but the reality is that as new products are introduced and enter the marketplace at higher and/or lower price points it changes the landscape enough to alter the best answer to many questions. What would be the best budget-conscious course of action today would change if tomorrow Canon introduced a long overdue 70D or 7D Mark II that used a next generation APS-C sensor with low light performance improvements along the same lines that Nikon and others have shown in the last 3-4 years.
Yet the way a handful of members seem to want to run the site, it often makes it difficult to find the best, current information to a specific question. And newcomers who ask questions are either berated for them being too general or being too specific.
- Any question that remotely resembles another is flagged as a duplicate and in some cases closed in such a short period of time that most of the community, many of whom might feel the question has merit as a unique one, may not even see it. (We are spread throughout the entire globe in different time zones). When newcomers try to follow the instructions "... If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question..." the new, more specific question is promptly flagged as a duplicate because it is a more focused, specific form of an existing general question. Even when the specifics of the new question significantly alter what the correct answer might be.
- New answers to questions asked several years ago might well be more current and more accurate than the original answers if the available options have changed. Yet the default display of the accepted answer followed by the most popular answers in descending order means that answers that received a mass of votes 2-3 years ago (when they were the best answers) means that a more current, more correct answer is buried in obscurity beneath them. Because very few viewers will scroll that far down, if there are more than 4 or 5 old answers the more current answer is rarely even seen and thus has little chance of getting the votes needed to move it closer to the top.
- At times it seems as if opinions on whether a question should be left open, closed, or merged into another question hinges as much on how much the decision might affect a user's reputation as it does on the merits of the question. If the user wrote the top answer to an older question, they seem to want to close the newer one more often than if they wrote an answer to the newer question that is getting some votes and have no skin in the game at the older question, even when the comparison between the two questions in either case is quite similar.
Just because questions may be similar about what they are asking doesn't always mean they are identical to each other and exact duplicates. Subtle differences in the question can sometimes lead to significantly different answers. The topic of being a little too quick to mark seemingly every new question as a duplicate of another related but not necessarily identical question came up here a while back, and we seemed to slow down on flagging every other question as a duplicate for a while. Now we seem to be right back where we were before. Is it any wonder most newcomers don't stick around very long when this is the case?